Definition of lobby in English:



  • 1A room providing a space out of which one or more other rooms or corridors lead, typically one near the entrance of a public building.

    ‘they went into the hotel lobby’
    • ‘Access to this property is via an entrance lobby which leads to a wide and spacious reception area.’
    • ‘The building's two lobbies are also on different levels.’
    • ‘That will free up networks from their computer base and allow connections into conference rooms, lobbies and other public spaces where computer access may net exist.’
    • ‘As the emergency services start to go about their grisly tasks, it is left to stray reporters to phone in reports from the roofs of buildings, from hotel lobbies and pavements.’
    • ‘They settle in cafes, restaurants and hotel lobbies, selecting those spaces that best support their current activity.’
    • ‘With the radical image makeover, the humble earthenware has emerged out of the kitchen to occupy pride of place as decorative articles in drawing rooms, hotel lobbies, airport lounges and showrooms.’
    • ‘Clad in bright green glass tiles, the entrance lobby leads to a restful white panelled ante room.’
    • ‘He wrote music wherever and whenever he could, in waiting rooms and hotel lobbies, between sets and even at home on his piano.’
    • ‘The main hallway leads to a lobby and, through another massive arch, into what would have been the living quarters of the original tower house, now the library.’
    • ‘In public spaces such as lobbies and corridors, good lighting design will create a visual hierarchy by highlighting objects and surfaces to identify what things are important and help visitors find their way.’
    • ‘The lobby was right near the entrance to the building, so I assumed the common room would be similarly close.’
    • ‘For these reasons, split ductless systems are frequently found in educational and healthcare facilities, computer rooms, lobbies and building entryways.’
    • ‘A timber staircase leads from the entrance lobby to the first floor and the remaining five bedrooms.’
    • ‘A glazed tunnel set slightly off axis leads down through the treelined courtyard into the entrance lobby, one level below ground.’
    • ‘Paul is an accomplished artist whose unique work adorns many sitting rooms and hotel lobbies throughout the country.’
    • ‘That and the daylighting serve to ameliorate the tight spaces of the upper lobby.’
    • ‘The third strategy (mixed mode) combines natural and artificial ventilation in transition spaces such as lobbies, foyers and the courtyard.’
    • ‘The lobby at the new entrance hosts social events and displays technological products.’
    • ‘An entrance lobby leads to the sitting room, which has polished timber floors and a charming cast iron fireplace.’
    • ‘Another architectural consideration is segregating areas like mail rooms and entrance lobbies from the remainder of the building.’
    entrance hall, hallway, hall, entrance, vestibule, foyer, reception area, outer room, waiting room, anteroom, antechamber, porch
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  • 2(in the UK) any of several large halls in the Houses of Parliament in which MPs may meet members of the public.

    • ‘She received her first term of imprisonment in February 1908 for entering the lobby of the House of Commons.’
    • ‘In the years I knew him in the lobbies of the parliament, he was not only one of the most agreeable and charming MPs I had to deal with but one of the few people who really seemed to know what was going on.’
    • ‘‘I have committed no violations,’ he said in the lobby of Parliament last Friday.’
    • ‘The last time we chatted was in the central lobby at the House of Commons, and looking at his sheer pleasure you'd imagine that he had just got a day pass to Elysium.’
    • ‘The meeting also decided to ban smoking in the Central Hall and lobbies of Parliament in the light of a Supreme Court order against smoking at all public places in the country.’
    • ‘Just before the dinner break when we took the vote on the Relationships Bill, inadvertently a vote was cast for one member on our side of the House in both lobbies.’
    • ‘Substitute the oak-panelled lobbies of Westminster for the more unassuming corridors of the Scottish Football League offices in Glasgow's West Regent Street.’
    • ‘In the Parliament lobbies, heated debate erupted and he was accused by opposition MPs of trampling on the constitution.’
    • ‘I only wish that he could come into the lobbies and tell the Government members about it.’
    • ‘Standing Order 42 determines that you have a right to control who is admitted to the meeting rooms and lobbies of Parliament.’
    1. 2.1(in the UK) each of two corridors in the Houses of Parliament to which MPs retire to vote.
      • ‘Of course, when I first came into this House every member, individually, had to vote and had to declare that vote in the lobby.’
      • ‘In spite of his advancing years, he has regularly paraded nobly through the division lobbies in the cause of the suppression of vice.’
      • ‘Yes, and the parliamentary clones dutifully trooped through the division lobby to vote for war.’
      • ‘Superficially it seemed that votes in the division lobbies were the only thing that counted.’
      • ‘Of the government defeats in the division lobbies in this century, all but a handful have fallen in this category.’
      • ‘Since 1997, Labour backbenchers have docilely suffered themselves to be herded through the division lobby with about as much consideration for their feelings as crated veal calves.’
      • ‘I am sure that not many of those on the Labour side of the select committee will go through the Ayes lobby and vote for the bill to continue.’
      • ‘But when a request was made, on the grounds of the closeness of the figures, for a division to take place for voting in the lobbies - a more reliable system - it fell.’
      • ‘In the old world, the worst the whips faced was having to push a slurring MP through the right division lobby.’
      • ‘The last time a Government substantially cut the top income tax rate and the company tax rate was when that member and I passed in the division lobby to vote for them in 1988.’
      • ‘This means physically counting members through the division lobbies, agreeing the number with the government Whip and announcing the result to Mr Speaker in the Chamber.’
      • ‘The mix of consensus and disagreement shows itself also in the division lobby.’
      • ‘Without such soldiers, MPs would have no division lobby to go through.’
      • ‘But those who rarely speak in the House of Commons or vote in the division lobbies are letting down their constituents and fleecing taxpayers.’
      • ‘A Foxhunting vote in the lobbies now has been timely set to try and lessen the blow of bad rail failures and the push for oil in Afghanistan.’
      • ‘The cohesion of parties in the division lobbies of the House dates from the 1890s and reached its peak in the 1950s.’
      • ‘The bell gives them a 15-minute warning, which is just about sufficient time for them to discover exactly what they are voting for, and which division lobby to enter.’
      • ‘They were at their brutish best - standing on every possible route into the division lobby as MPs voted on controversial foundation hospitals.’
      • ‘‘He has never once spoken to any of us, bumped into us in the division lobby or come to see us in the tea-room,’ complained one of the phalanx of new intake Tory MPs who could prove critical to the final result.’
      • ‘Posters in the lobby explain today's vote in six languages.’
    2. 2.2informal (in the UK) lobby correspondents collectively.
  • 3A group of people seeking to influence legislators on a particular issue.

    ‘members of the anti-abortion lobby’
    • ‘Large numbers of well-educated and articulate refugees fled abroad and formed influential lobbies supporting the militant struggle, particularly through the LTTE.’
    • ‘Big business lobbies step up pressure on Germany's grand coalition’
    • ‘Into this mix you need to factor in the inordinate political influence of farm lobbies in many industrial countries, for example France, the US, Japan and arguably Australia.’
    • ‘Under pressure from the agrochemical lobby, the British government has dropped plans to tax agricultural pesticide use.’
    • ‘In addition the farming and pastoral lobbies had a strong influence on government policy making at both federal and state levels.’
    • ‘It's always been thus as the various vested interests, lobby groups and politicians seek to have their view of the world represented in the budget for the coming year.’
    • ‘This makes it a perfect issue for the anti-abortion lobby to take up.’
    • ‘The form that these standards take - and the increasing talk of using trade sanctions to impose them - is close to what protectionist lobbies in industrial nations seek.’
    • ‘But the reality is that the ID movement actively lobbies for such legislation all around the country.’
    • ‘For decades, trucking company lobbies defended complex federal regulations that set hauling prices and routes and limited competition.’
    • ‘This constant reference to the foetus as a baby has become common coin for the anti-abortion lobby.’
    • ‘It would be easy to imagine that the reason why the question of pain and late abortion have become connected is because the anti-abortion lobby have exploited the issue.’
    • ‘You can expect many of the big-business lobbies to oppose this legislation.’
    • ‘Tax expenditures are Congress's response to the pressure of lobbies and special-interest groups.’
    • ‘When she comes to see me, I will advise her that partisan politics in a lobby group such as Federated Farmers is not a very good idea.’
    • ‘He also boasted of being sought by numerous other lobbies, including the Hollywood trade group MPAA and several telecommunications firms.’
    • ‘The result of such legislation, the insurance lobby declared, would be increased costs that would be passed on to consumers in the form of higher premiums.’
    • ‘American lobby groups try to seek a legal way to attack that peg, which hurts their interests they say.’
    • ‘In any case, those pushing it thought that the OECD, dominated by First World governments and corporate lobbies, was perhaps a more suitable venue for these matters.’
    • ‘I was happy to give them time - probably more time than I have given other lobby groups on other issues - but I feel a bit betrayed.’
    pressure group, interest group, interest, movement, campaign, crusade, lobbyists, supporters
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    1. 3.1[in singular]An organized attempt by members of the public to influence legislators.
      ‘a recent lobby of Parliament by pensioners’
      • ‘The meeting is being organised by the York Trades Union Council, which is also staging a lobby of councillors the following Thursday evening at the Guildhall before a full council meeting.’
      • ‘There was a rally organised by the NPC pensioners' convention and a lobby of MPs.’
      • ‘A lobby of the governors' meeting is planned on Tuesday 20 May at 6pm and other local schools are being asked to build for it.’
      • ‘Strikers called another lobby of the Liberal Democrat controlled council this week.’
      • ‘Trades unionist Brian Anderson helped organise a major lobby of councillors as they entered the Guildhall for last week's showdown.’
      • ‘Our next step was to organise a lobby of the next meeting of the Housing Committee.’
      • ‘There was to be a lobby of this meeting at 12.30 pm.’
      • ‘Activists are planning a lobby of the High Court in central London when the dates of the trial are known.’
      • ‘A lobby of the meeting was due to take place to show the strength of support for the sacked librarians and to urge the university to reinstate them.’
      • ‘The STOPP campaign is to hold a lobby of the Department of Education on March 1.’
      • ‘All the speakers called for the biggest possible turnout for the lobby of the Scottish Labour Party conference in Dundee on 4 March.’
      • ‘There was set to be a lobby of the national executive meeting.’
      • ‘Glasgow Campaign to Defend Council Housing held a lobby of the Glasgow City Council meeting on Thursday of last week.’
      • ‘The union is planning a lobby of the Welsh Assembly on Monday 21 October.’
      • ‘The union plans to organise a lobby of the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth this September over manufacturing job losses.’
      • ‘Whenever possible we'll try and organise lobbies and demonstrations to support the councillor on the inside.’
      • ‘The union is organising a lobby of parliament for next Wednesday.’
      • ‘But it is hoping that a lobby of councillors it is organising on Thursday will make such protests unnecessary.’
      • ‘Last week we organised a lobby of the Lib Dem council to save our school.’
      • ‘Several FBU regions backed a lobby of this week's pay talks.’


  • Seek to influence (a legislator) on an issue.

    ‘they insist on their right to lobby Congress’
    [no object] ‘the organization was formed to lobby for student concerns’
    • ‘Labour councillors have lobbied independent councillors to vote with them against the amendment.’
    • ‘Thousands of parents formed action groups and lobbied their MPs in campaigning against the proposed changes.’
    • ‘There have been hints from some Labour MPs in the media that indicate that they have been lobbied by the nuclear industry.’
    • ‘The minister has lobbied the European Commission in support of a financial rescue package.’
    • ‘Private firms spend millions lobbying politicians to promote their interests.’
    • ‘A few years ago Rod and I were being lobbied by a group of officials from a large corporation.’
    • ‘Political leaders in the region are considering lobbying the Government to seek clarification.’
    • ‘The coalition urged demonstrators to lobby their senators and representatives to stop the war and the attack on civil liberties.’
    • ‘Protesters recently lobbied the council demanding withdrawal of the cuts.’
    • ‘The campaign was built through lobbying the council, holding meetings and marches on the estate.’
    • ‘Rich farmers have lobbied the government to allow more migrant workers to come and work here for the season-and then be sent back.’
    • ‘The fledgling peat industry at the turn of the century lobbied the federal government for assistance.’
    • ‘Opponents have lobbied their democratic representatives through the parliament.’
    • ‘After lobbying the employers' association we went to the rally at Congress House.’
    • ‘We've been to meetings in the Town Hall, we have lobbied councillors, we have called the police.’
    • ‘Protesters lobbied councillors as they went into their meeting.’
    • ‘Now had also launched a campaign which was seeking to lobby senators both in their home states and in the Senate itself.’
    • ‘They also lobbied councillors and told them the increase in traffic would created a safety risk.’
    • ‘It has lobbied politicians and swayed public opinion on how animals should be treated.’
    • ‘Residents are still concerned about the plans and are lobbying Councilors to reject them.’
    seek to influence, try to persuade, bring pressure to bear on, importune, persuade, influence, sway
    campaign, crusade, press, push, drum up support, speak, clamour, ask, call, drive
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Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘monastic cloister’): from medieval Latin lobia, lobium covered walk, portico. The verb sense (originally US) derives from the practice of frequenting the lobby of a house of legislature to influence its members into supporting a cause.